1938 SS Saloon Boot Floor

I have the hinged curved steel cover with the wing nuts over the rear axle. I have nothing of the main floor above the fuel tank but the cross bar and tabs with the captured nuts fore and aft.
There is nothing in the parts catalogues about the '38-'40 boot or luggage compartment floor.
I’m guessing it is made of marine plywood?
If so, what thickness?
Is it covered in ribbed rubber like the axle cover and tool tray lid?
What about the side areas?

Hi Rob,

I don’t have any photos as such but in 1993 Paul Skilleter published an article in Jaguar World featuring a totally unrestored 1939 SS Jaguar 3½ litre that was discovered in Switzerland. I went to see this car and took video of various parts that I was interested in. On the same trip I also visited Tom Chalmers who very kindly let me video parts of his cars. He has a very lightly restored 1939 SS Jaguar 3½ litre.

It’s hardly what you’d call professional and my camera was rather bulky but here’s some of the video in the boot areas of these cars.

My boot floor is 3/8" plywood with ribbed rubber covering.



I think actually , it only needs to be water proof ply , notmarine ply.

Thanks again Peter and Ed. I have that issue of Jag World, very interesting things to note, like the gray engine, foot rests and the shape of the body work around the rear most mounting point, where mine is all rusted away. I wonder what happened to that car.
Also the video is most appreciated. I did not know about the steel covers in the left rear corner and over the fuel level sender, both of which make perfect sense now that I see them.
Around here we have both marine plywood and baltic birch.
Marine has fewer thicker plys.
Baltic has more thinner plys.
The boot lid picture frame, tool tray and lid are baltic.
The XK120 main floors and boot floor are baltic.
I am inclined to go with baltic here because it is a bit stronger for use as a boot floor, and treat it with a moisture sealer.

I think, through a fog of doubtful memory. that the difference between water proof ply and marine play, is to do whether the wood is waterproof or the glue is [ or both]

Hi Rob,

The Swiss car was sold in England but it was bought by another Swiss gentleman. A few years after seeing the car in Essex I visited him too. He already had an E type that he had restored to the last detail. I asked him if he used it much and he replied that he never used it. It was just an immaculate collector’s item.

He had stripped the SS and was making excellent progress with the chassis and once again it was clear to me that he intended every last detail to be exactly as it was when it left the factory and again I am sure that he intended the car to remain indoors whilst in his care.


Sad, like keeping one’s virginity in a vault.t

When removing it from the vault I wonder if there are any advantages from the attachment of anti-resonance weights?

Peter :rabbit2:

[quote=“Peter_Scott, post:6, topic:364168”]
The Swiss car was sold in England but it was bought by another Swiss gentleman. A few years after seeing the car in Essex I visited him too.
[/quote] That was in 1999.

Here’s a question I know you’ve all been itching to answer.
I’m making the boot floor, got it to fit pretty well now.
There is an oval hole in the plywood with a steel cover for access to the fuel level sender. I see it in Peter’s video.
The question is, how big is the hole and also the cover?

Hi Rob,

Unfortunately I didn’t get the metal cover with my car and my plywood floor is not original. The perferifery of the gauge well in the top of the tank will give you the proportions of the access hole if not the dimensions and you may be able to scale the plate from its size relative to the ribbed rubber.



Ok thanks. Studying it awhile and trying to think like Bill Heynes and his crew, what would they have done, I decided there were two reasons for the hole, access to the level sender and to the nut on the supply line tube. So I made my oval hole 3-1/2" x 7" and it seems right. The cover plate will be 4" x 7-1/2" x .048" steel oval with 4 screws.

On the left hand side, where I need to cut a clearance slot for the filler tube, I’m going to assume there should also be access clearance for the reserve tank supply line tube nut. I’ll make a pyramid cover big enough to cover both.

I’m beginning to realize that with this car not everything can be known as it mostly sort of can with a Mark V; with some things you just have to make an educated guess.

Bringing back this old thread because I found the identical corrugated rubber matting. It is made by Rubber-Cal and sold by Home Depot and others including Amazon.
I bought a 4 ft x 4 ft piece but they sell other sizes.
Home Depot Internet #304062523
Rubber-Cal ## Model #03_168_W_FR_04
There are 9 ribs per inch and they are equilateral triangle shaped like my original matting on the rear axle cover and tool tray lid. I couldn’t ask for a better match to the original.

So I will be covering the boot lid and lower floor with this stuff.

I still wonder about the side and front face coverings in the boot. Were they just black plywood, or covered with something?

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